Onions, Garlic, Chives, Leeks, Shallots and Scallions
If açaí is the most exotic food on this list, the allium family of foods is perhaps the most humble. Garlic, onions, leeks and chives contain flavonoids that stimulate the production of glutathione (the tripeptide that is the liver's most potent antioxidant). Glutathione enhances elimination of toxins and carcinogens, putting the allium family of vegetables at the top of the list for foods that can help prevent cancer. Here are just a few benefits from members of this family.
- Lowers total cholesterol (but raises HDL—"good"—cholesterol)
- Lessens the risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
- Lowers blood pressure
- Reduces the risk of blood clots (cause of the majority of strokes and heart attacks)
- Destroys infection-causing viruses and bacteria
- Reduces the risk of certain cancers, in particular, stomach cancers
- Produces more "natural killer" cells in the blood to fight tumors and infections
- Helps fight against neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's
- Enhances detoxification by reducing toxins
For optimum effect, eat garlic raw. Cooking can destroy some of the allicin compound, which is the active constituent.
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